You have the power in your hands to change the world. This change ripples out from you in concentric circles, and it all starts with decisions you make in the Market because what you choose to buy and consume impacts the world in many powerful ways that you may have never been aware of. Every purchasing decision you make changes the world, but that’s a sort of nebulous idea. It is a kind of big idea to grasp, so let’s start with something a little simpler.
How foods affect your physical existence?
Let’s start with talking about how you exist as a human being. You exist at many different levels and one of them – of course, the most obvious one – is the physical level. In other words, you have physical matter, you have mass and you have substance. This makes up your body and your organs. For a moment, we’ll ignore the argument that all your physical matter is just energy, which it is, and stick with the Newtonian view of reality here and talk about the physical you. This physical you has certain needs. You have to put a certain amount of food through your body. It has to physically move through your body in order to be digested and utilized, so you also have a physical need for certain types of food. These food purchasing decisions you make in the market can alter your physical body.
So, if you’re in a market and you’re trying to decide between two different types — one product is washed/stored in chemicals and another one is brought directly from farm — then by changing your decision right there at the point of purchase, you’re changing the physical impact on your body. Now, that physical impact may not be experienced until a day or two later, and it may not really be obvious unless you make this decision thousands of times over and over again over a period of years, but it does make a difference. It is choosing a different path in your life.
How foods affect your chemical existence?
Now, that’s just the first level, so what happens next?
You also exist at a biochemical level, so you have all this physical matter, but what’s actually making this physical matter work is chemistry. Inside your body, you have chemistry that breaks down the amino acids found in foods. You have chemistry that moves water and sodium through the cells of your body. You have enzymes and various enzymatic reactions taking place throughout your body during every living moment. There is a lot of chemistry going on.
You have all this chemistry that is taking place in your body, and what you choose to eat modifies your chemistry.
If you choose to buy a fresh product that contains a lot of fibre, vitamin, minerals and other nutrients that’s going to alter the chemistry of your body when you consume and digest it.
However, if you make good decisions to purchase healthy – then your chemistry is going to be much healthier. Your blood chemistry profile will be positive rather than negative. It will indicate health rather than disease.
All these biochemical effects take place and, of course, affect your mental function because the brain is an organ that depends on chemistry for its function. When you have the right foods based on the right decisions you, you end up with the right chemistry.
To represent this chemical level around your body, Draw a larger circle around your body, a second outline; this is the biochemical layer of effect that you’re creating by making new decisions of buying.
Bioenergetics: Your body’s energy!
The third level is what I call bioenergetics. Just as you are a physical and chemical being, you are also an energetic being. In fact, everything that is chemistry is really just energy, and everything that is physical is really just energy, too. From a physics point of view, there’s nothing really there. There is no physical matter in your body; it’s all just energy vibrating at certain frequencies with certain interactions. However, I’m not talking about that type of energy here. I’m talking about the energy of foods, because foods have a quality. Every product you choose to consume has an energy; you could call it a feeling.
A food that is grown in nature — under the care of farmers who used care and honesty — creates love, health and connection in your body.
Your buying power influences your community!
If you haven’t done so already, draw a third circle around yourself; that’s the energetic level. Now, draw a fourth, much larger circle; this is the community level.
Your choices affect the sources of those foods as well. If you buy from small, local growers, like you might find at a farmer’s market, then you are supporting sustainable farming and local families who have the knowledge and the determination to work close to the earth in an honourable profession. When you purchase from these Pranam Kisan (farmers), you are supporting a way of life that is truly sacred; a way of life that, frankly, more of us would do well to emulate. That’s a miracle in action, and every time you purchase, you support those local community miracles.
If you want your community to be made up of farmers who know the land, who can deliver fresh produce and who honour the earth, then that’s what you need to buy because you support whatever you buy. On the other hand, if you want a system of corporate greed and exploitation, then go ahead and buy as before you buying because that’s what you’re going to create by making that decision.
This brings us to one more level — the corporate level, or the business model level. Everything you choose is a vote for a certain type of business model. If you choose direct from farms, then that’s what you create. If you choose mega-corporations who sell food only because it’s something that makes money, just the same as drugs make money or cigarettes make money, that’s what you choose to support, as well.
You have so much influence by making these simple decisions of buying. Just by choosing one box over another or one package over another, you literally change the world because you shift the demand curve. You vote for a type of product. You vote for a business model. You vote for the model of environmental protection that is practiced by these organizations. You affect each and every one of these things just by making a simple purchase decision.
You see, the world becomes what you consume.
Remember: You have the power to change the world inside you right now. The only way we are going to change this modern food system is to shift the demand curves. Change what you buy, and you will change the world.